NCH
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IIPA
 

Consumer Velocity @ NCH
(Toll Free No.: 14404, 1800-11-4000)


 
       1st-15th  
Dec 2017               The fortnightly e-newsletter of the National Consumer Helpline
 
Inside the issue

 

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Snapshot of activities

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CPGRAMS Complaints

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Goods & Service Tax

 

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Consumer Kaleidoscope
   
Events Gallery

Participants of the APPA Programme of IIPA visited National Consumer Helpline on 12th Dec 2017.

 

 

Contact

To seek information, advice and guidance on consumer problems

Contact
National Consumer Helpline

Toll Free Numbers

14404, 1800-11-4000

(All Working days)
09.30 AM to 05.30 PM
or
SMS your name and city to
+918130009809 (Charges Apply) .

Editorial Team

Editor in Chief:
•Prof. Suresh Misra

Consulting Editor:
•Mr. G. N. Sreekumaran


Editorial Team:

• Ms. Deepika Sur
• Ms. Sunanda Dey

Designing & Development:
• Mr. Ashish Kumar Gaur

 
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CONSUMER VELOCITY @ NCH.

The National Consumer Helpline (NCH) is a project of the Dept. of Consumer Affairs, Govt. of India and operates under the Centre for Consumer Studies, Indian Institute of Public Administration New Delhi. The web portal www.consumerhelpline.gov.in is the platform to record and handle complaints received at NCH. In addition, ‘Consumer App’, which can be downloaded from Google Play Store, can be used to register complaints. The web chat facility is also available for consumers for any query that they may have.

NCH does the following:

Information & guidance:NCH counsels, guides and supports the aggrieved consumers to get their complaints resolved.

Alternate Dispute Redressal system (ADR): The alternate dispute redressal system has 352 companies as convergence partners. Convergence companies have got login credentials to redress consumer complaints on the portal itself. Convergence partners are across the spectrum of sectors like Bank, e-commerce, telecom, consumer electronics etc.

Big Data Analytics: Analysis of data helps in knowing trends - sector wise, time scale wise and the different patterns that emerge from analyzing and stratification of the data collated.

Research & Advocacy: Based on the analysis done, specific type of complaints affecting a large number of consumers is highlighted to the organizations. Also, advocacies are brought out to sensitize Regulators and Departments on various pain points of consumers.

EVENT GALLERY:  

Participants of the APPA Programme of IIPA visited National Consumer Helpline on 12th Dec 2017.

Participants of the APPA Programme of IIPA visited National Consumer Helpline on 12th Dec 2017. They interacted with Project Manager Ms. Deepika Sur who briefed them about the functioning of NCH, other team members, answered their queries and related concerns during the visit. The participants also heard live calls which were received at helpline being answered by counselors.

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SNAPSHOT  
Data for the Period 1st-15th Nov 2017

  • The Website www.nationalconsumerhelpline.in registered a hit count of 99,999 in this period.

  • In the first fortnight of December (1-15) 2017, National Consumer Helpline registered 16,690 dockets on the portal - www.consumerhelpline.gov.in. Out of 16,690, 11,222 complaints were handled at Toll free number, 1,259 calls were made to SMS received, and 4562 complaints were registered on the Website. 117 complaints were reported through “Consumer App”. On the web chat facility, 1149 user’s queries were handled. On an average 100 users are making enquires at NCH per day through web chat.
State-wise Dockets Registered: 

The number of calls received from top ten states in descending order is Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Bihar.

image loading for Percentage of calls State wise...

Major Complaint Sectors: 

Majority of the complaints were received from e-commerce, telecom, banking, consumer electronics and agency services sectors.
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Besides consumer awareness, NCH also works towards 'making Corporates responsible’ in resolving consumer grievances at the pre-litigation level itself, by having an alternate redressal mechanism. Currently over 361 companies/ organisations are listed under the ‘convergence’ programme. All companies have partnered with NCH voluntarily.

A wide spectrum of companies in sectors ranging from consumer electronics and durables to services such as Banking, Insurance, Electricity, Telecom to diversified sectors such as Automobiles, Courier, Tours & Holidays are all ‘convergence’ partners of NCH. Complaints received are accessed by the nodal person (SPOC) of the company who is also responsible for uploading the responses. 7,750 complaints were registered for convergence companies and 3,007 (i.e. 38.8%) were suitably responded.


Sector- DTH and Cable sector


Total 332 complaints were received during the period 15 – Nov -14 -Dec 2017. Out of which 41% complaints are related to services not provided. Consumers have complained of not getting subscribed plans after recharging the DTH or DAS, bad quality of signals, not getting channels as per the subscribed plan, customer care not responding to complaints, delay in installation/transferring of new connection by LCO’s, no intimation given to consumers on removing the channels from packages, not getting promised accessories like remote from DTH or DAS companies, LCO's charging extra, or not providing bills.

14% complaints are related to unfair deduction, company not refunding the balance amount on disconnection, no refund in case service provider has stopped providing services, amount deducted while charging online but not get the subscribed plan or benefits, not getting promised vouchers, recharge amount getting deducted automatically without informing the consumer, not getting SMS alerts on recharge or deduction, not getting refund of security amount.

8% general enquires are related to refund rules on DTH/DAS services, contact nos. of DTH companies, radio channels, marketing calls on different subscription plans from DTH/DAS companies, free to air channels.


NCH responds to complaints forwarded by the Department of Consumer Affairs received on www.pgportal.gov.in. This is a Govt. of India Public grievance portal administered by DARPG for citizens to voice their grievances. From 1st -15th December 2017, NCH received 181 complaints during this time period, along with 587 complaints which are carried forward and 250 were redressed up till 15th December 2017.


From July 1, 2017, Consumers in India are required to pay Goods and Services Tax (GST). Since it is a destination based tax, it is levied at all stages right from manufacturer up to the final consumer.

Docket Registered for GST in the period 1-15 December 2017
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CONSUMER KALEIDOSCOPE
(Recent announcements in Consumer Interest)


  • Bottled Drinking Water: Types

  • Safe drinking water is critical for the safety and health of people. The challenges of getting safe drinking water are more in urban settings. With increasing awareness consumption of bottled water is increasing. Bottled water can be classified into two categories broadly – Mineral Water and Packaged Drinking water. The third newly emerging category is Fruit flavored water, gaining its place in the market speedily.

    1. Mineral Water: It includes all kinds of Mineral Water or Natural mineral water obtained directly from natural or drilled sources from underground water bearing strata. The water is basically drawn from the natural resource, confirms to composition listed under International Standard (IS): 13428, and is bottled without altering the composition. It must be packaged close to the point of emergence of the source. It is characterized by its rich content of certain mineral salts and trace elements.

    2. Packaged Drinking Water: Water derived from the surface water, civic water supply, underground water, sea water or any other consistent source of water which may be subjected to prescribed treatments as per Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). In packaged drinking water, any of the processes of filtration / disinfection listed under IS: 14543 can be utilized, altering the composition of subject water and finally, bottling it.

    3. Flavored Drinking Water: Basically it is a type of Non Alcoholic Carbonated or Non-carbonated water based beverage. Due to its transparent water like appearance it is often assumed to be a type of flavored drinking water. It may contain sugar, fruit and vegetable extracts, permitted flavor, coloring matter, preservatives, stabilising and emulsifying agent, edible gums, vitamins and caffeine. The specified limits for caffeine are 145ppm to 300ppm.

    Specific Packaging Requirements :

    • Water must be packed in clean, hygienic, colourless, transparent and tamperproof bottles/containers. Bottles/containers must be made of- polyethylene (PE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyalkylene terephthalate and polybutylene terephthalate (PET and PBT), polypropylene, foodgrade polycarbonate, sterile glass bottles. Bottle must be sealed perfectly.

    • Specific Labeling Prohibitions : No claims must be made concerning medicinal, preventative, or curative effect of product. The name of the locality, hamlet or specified place may not form part of the trade name unless it refers to packaged water collected at the place designated by that trade name.

    • Specific Labeling Requirements:

    Some mandatory declarations are to be present in capital letters surrounded by a box. The details are provided in the table below -

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    In case of any discrepancies found consumer can place a complaint as per given hierarchy –

    Tier I: Nodal Officer / Customer care of the company

    Tier II: Commissioner of Food Safety of the State / Union Territory

    Tier III: Central Food Authority, FSSAI
    References:

  • Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011

  • Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011


  • World-wide caution on Crypto Currencies specifically Bitcoins
  • The staggering growth of Bitcoin and other decentralised digital currencies in the current year 2017 has led to increasing concerns over what the fallout could be if the bubble were to burst suddenly. Global financial regulators are beginning to warn the public against the risks of investing in a market that many feel is in a speculative bubble. The Foreign Countries like Singapore, Nepal, Denmark, South Korea, European countries etc urging “extreme caution” about buying crypto currencies.

    Worldwide there have also been worries that regulators have not been doing enough to protect consumers. Many, though, have opinion that the investors must take responsibility and must not expect protection, if they lose money because of the difficulties of regulating an opaque, complex market that has no centralised authority.

    In India, the RBI’s latest warning comes at a time when Indian retail investors are rapidly adopting Bitcoin, despite soaring premiums. RBI in its press Release dated 5th Dec’17 has once again cautioned adopters (“users, holders and traders”) of crypto currencies like Bitcoin about “potential economic, financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks” in dealing with VCs (virtual currencies).

    The RBI also reiterated its position of not authorizing or licensing “any entity/company to operate such schemes or deal with Bitcoin or any VC.Unlike previous alerts, the latest public notice of RBI includes a warning about Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), a popular new form of fundraising, where companies raise capital in crypto currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum’s ether in exchange for their digital tokens.

    In India, while Bitcoin isn’t officially recognized by authorities, it isn’t ruled illegal either. The ambiguity – repeated warnings aside – has seen India’s Supreme Court call on the central government to issue clear guidelines “to regulate the flow of Bitcoin” in the country.The recent surge in the prices of crypto currencies is considered to be driven by speculation, so, the risk of a sharp reduction in prices is high. The common investors in crypto currencies should be aware that they run the risk of losing all their capital.

    The various Central Authorities world-wide urged the investor public to act with “extreme caution” and to understand the “significant risks” they take on if they invest in virtual currencies.

    A majority of leading European economists were in favor of greater regulatory oversight of the market, primarily because of concerns that crypto currencies facilitate tax evasion and other criminal activity. So, in a nut shell, Please Do not invest in Crypto currencies like Bitcoin.

    (Compiled by Mr. Prabhat Kumar, Sector Expert: BFSI -Banking, Financial services and Insurance)

     

    National Consumer Helpline 
    Centre for Consumer Studies , Indian Institute of Public Administration
    Toll Free :
    14404 , 1800-11-4000 (All days -09.30 AM to 05.30 PM )
    SMS can also be sent to +918130009809 (charges apply) mentioning the name and city .
    Website: www.nationalconsumerhelpline.in
    You can also register your complaint on mobile application "Consumer App" of Department of Consumer Affairs and website www.consumerhelpline.gov.in

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